Here are a couple of examples of “unconscious incompetence.”
A friend of mine attended a driving school. He’s not as old as me, but we learned about driving 40 years ago.
We were taught to put our hands at “10 and 2” on the steering wheel. Not sure why just put them there.
Turns out that’s not safe anymore. Most of us have airbags in our car now. If you’re holding the wheel at “10 and 2”, chances are great that your arms will be in the way should the air bags eject. So, “9 and 3” are better.
Here’s another example.
We were taught to pump the brakes if a car went into a slide. Pumping would keep the brakes from locking up and allow you to steer the car.
It turns out that cars know have “anti-locking brake systems” (ABS)It’s standard. So, you don’t pump brakes anymore. Pumping may keep the ABS from engaging. Stomping on the brakes is more effective.
Until my friend taught me better, I was driving wrong. I didn’t know better. That made me “unconsciously incompetent.”
We must revisit our practices and check out our strategies. Situations change.
Stay hungry. Be curious. Ask why.
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.